Notre Dame TE Troy Niklas compares himself to Heath Miller

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The big, raw tight end looks to be a middle round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, and his size and potential could shoot him up higher than that.

Notre Dame tight end Troy Niklas drew the attention of Steelers coach Mike Tomlin at Notre Dame's pro day in March.

He must have noticed.

The projected middle round draft pick said on Sirius XM NFL Radio Monday he compared himself to Steelers tight end Heath Miller, and in a few ways, it makes sense - or at least as much sense as a 22-year-old can be compared to a nine-year NFL veteran can make.

At 6-foot-6, 270 pounds, he's bigger than Miller, and most other tight ends in the game. The former outside linebacker has only played two seasons at tight end, showing the kind of athleticism he has.

The Steelers aren't likely to consider replacing Miller in the future a priority in this draft, but if the right player is available in the right place, it wouldn't be a surprise. Niklas figures to be a well-rounded player as he develops, and probably shouldn't be considered likely to contribute a significant amount his rookie season.

In the end, if he likes Miller's game, and the Steelers feel he's a good project to bring on now, they could certainly do worse than working Niklas to be his replacement down the line.

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